DURHAM, N.C.ó After breaking out of a scoring slump with six goals on Thursday against Elon, the Duke Women’s Soccer team continued on its scoring onslaught as the Blue Devils downed Dartmouth, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium. Sophomore forward Elisabeth Redmond registered two goals on the afternoon to lead the charge for Duke.
The Blue Devils improved to 3-1-2, while the Big Green fell to 1-5-0. Duke has now scored nine goals over the last two contests after opening the season with one goal in four matches.
“We came out and played hard [today],” said Duke Head Coach Robbie Church. “I thought we dropped a little bit of our level after we scored a goal. If we do the right things, if we work hard off the ball, make the runs and work on our finishing we will score goals.”
Duke came out on the attack from the get-go as sophomore CJ Ludemann sent a long ball down the left side to sophomore KayAnne Gummersall. A product of Wilmette, Ill., Gummersall found a streaking Redmond who drove to the left corner of the Dartmouth goal box and fired a right footed blast that hit the right corner of the net just six minutes into the match. The goal was her third goal of the season.
“Collectively as a team, we have been more offensively minded from our back to our forwards,” Redmond said about the nine goals the last two games. “I think our outside backs have been getting forward and our center mids are getting into the attack. I have been on the end of a lot of the goals but I think it has to do with the work behind me.”
The Blue Devils came right back at the Big Green as Gummersall made a run of her own but was taken down by Dartmouth’s Whitney Odden right outside of the box. Duke’s free kick by Ludemann was blocked through. Duke kept attacking Dartmouth’s defense the entire first half but couldn’t get anything past the Big Green. Freshman Madeline McEwen had an excellent opportunity at the 32:17 mark as the goalkeeper dove to stop a cross by the Blue Devils but couldn’t hold onto the ball. McEwen, who is from Durham, N.C., grabbed the ball and blasted a right-footed shot that hit the right post.
As the time winded down in the first half sophomore Sheila Kramer of Duke sent a long ball down the field after an offsides call on Dartmouth. Junior Kelly Hathorn tapped the ball to Redmond who one-timed it with her left foot into the top left corner of the net past Big Green goalkeeper Laurel Peak. Redmond, a native of Morristown, N.J., totaled her fourth goal of the early season, which is a new season-best for her as she collected three goals as a freshman in 2006.
“The goal right before halftime by Elisabeth Redmond was a huge goal,” said Church. “It was a big-time goal. Sheila Kramer made a great play, threw the ball down and played it early before they could set up. Not only did she think that but she was able to execute it and play the ball through. Elisabeth made a great finish with it.”
At the end of the first half, the Blue Devils led 2-0 and held an 8-1 shot advantage.
“It was really important for us,” said Redmond on getting the two goals in the first half. “For everything we had heard, Dartmouth was a very hard-working team for 90 minutes. So I think trying to break their spirits as early as possible was really important for us.”
Dartmouth came out with two quick shots in the second half and controlled the ball much more in the second stanza, but Duke was able to take advantage when it had its chances.
In the 62nd minute, junior Christie McDonald found Hathorn on the left side of the field as she went very wide around the Big Green defense. Hathorn sent a left-footed long cross into the Dartmouth box where sophomore Jane Alukonis was running towards the goal. A product of Cocoa Beach, Fla., Alukonis headed the ball in from 10 yards out that hit the top right of the net. The goal for Alukonis was the first of her career.
“Basically, I was kind of getting yelled at for most of the game for not staying wide,” said Hathorn. “So I finally stayed all the way out there, I looked up for once and I actually saw someone I wanted to kick it to. It went to her perfectly and it was amazing. We practice stuff like that all the time but we never really do it in the game.”
“The third goal in the second half was a great goal,” said Church.
With eight minutes remaining, Dartmouth made a run at the Duke goal and Powers came out to stop the attack. As Powers dove, she took out the Big Green attacker and was called for a foul to give Dartmouth a penalty kick opportunity.
Annie Stanley stepped up and nailed the kick into the top right corner to put the Big Green on the board. The goal allowed for Duke was only the third in six matches this season.
Duke finished the game with a 17-6 shot advantage. Lipsher, who is from Honolulu, Hawaii, totaled one save in 69:33 minutes for the Blue Devils in goal, while Powers saw action in 20:27 minutes. Peak played the entire match in the net for Dartmouth as she finished with four saves.
“I don’t think this was our best game we had this season,” said Church. “It thought it was a spotty game. At times we looked really good offensively, but we were a little bit stronger than they were. We worked hard enough to win the ball and when we made decisions and played balls to our feet we were very good.”
The Blue Devils will next host the Duke adidas Classic on Sept. 21 and 23 at Koskinen Stadium. On Friday, Sept. 21, North Carolina will face Ohio State at 5:00 p.m., followed by Duke versus San Francisco at 7:00 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 23, UNC will see action versus San Francisco at 12:00 p.m., while Duke will take on Ohio State at 2:30 p.m.
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